The Daily Moth 5-22-2018

May 23, 2018

Amazon Selling Real-Time Facial Recognition Systems to Police; Maryland Teenager Charged with Murder of Police Officer; President Trump Casts Doubt on North Korea Meeting; Oregon Judge Orders Teenager to Pay $36 Million for Causing Wildfire; Cougar Attacks Two Cyclists, Killing One; Book with Deaf Character: “Charlie & Frog: A Mystery”; Deaf Bing: Strange Captions.

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, May 22. Ready for news?




Amazon Selling Real-Time Facial Recognition Systems to Police


There is some controversy with Amazon over their new facial recognition program, named Rekognition, that can identify and track people as they walk around in public spaces.


Amazon has offered this technology to local police departments with a test programs in Orlando, Florida and an area near Portland, Oregon.


A representative for Amazon said they are partners with Orlando, who has cameras all over the city. Amazon’s technology analyzes the videos in real time and searches it against the collection of faces they have.


While in Oregon, police said they don’t use the tool in real-time, only to analyze photographs of suspects taken by agents. They said it is very cheap.


Amazon also offer this to stores to enhance their security video systems.


The ACLU, an organization that advocates for people’s civil rights, has written a open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demanding them to stop selling this to law enforcement. ACLU said this government surveillance infrastructure threatens customers and communities across the country.


ACLU said their main concern is that this technology can be used by the government to monitor and target undocumented immigrants or Black activists.


There are no laws that prevent law enforcement agencies from using real-time facial recognition technology, and ACLU has the resources to lead a court battle to try and protect the public.


Amazon has responded in a comment to NPR saying this technology can be very helpful, such as helping amusement parks to find lost children. They said it has many uses beyond policing and that people shouldn’t be resistant to new technology.




Maryland Teenager Charged with Murder of Police Officer


Yesterday (Monday) in Baltimore County, Maryland — a police officer, Amy Caprio, was killed after she was struck by a Jeep Wrangler driven by a 16-year old suspect, Dwanta Anthony Harris.


ABC News explains that Harris was sitting in the Jeep while three other suspects, also male teenagers, were burglarizing a home.


Someone on the street saw the officer approaching the Jeep with her gun drawn out. The vehicle then moved directly at her, ramming her. The eyewitness heard a “pop,” so it seems like  the officer managed to shoot once before being hit.


A person did CPR on the officer and she was transported to the hospital, but died.


Harris is said to drive away and then abandon the vehicle. He was captured a block away. Police did a manhunt in the area for the other three suspects, who were all arrested.


Harris has admitted to driving at the officer. Police charged him as an adult with first-degree murder.




President Trump Casts Doubt on North Korea Meeting


President Trump said today that the summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un might not proceed as planned on June 12, that it might be delayed.


South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the White House today to talk with Trump about the summit.


Trump said there are certain conditions they want before the summit, and if they aren’t met, then the meeting won’t happen, that maybe it’ll be at a different time. But he said they were talking.


Trump said denuclearization was required and that he preferred it to be “all in one.”


He said he would guarantee Kim Jong-un’s safety. He also said if there was a deal, China, South Korea, and Japan were willing to invest big sums to make North Korea great.


Trump thinks Kim Jong-un has a different attitude after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


North Korea warned last week they would cancel the summit because of complaints over the U.S./South Korean military drills and about the U.S.’s statements that they give up all nuclear weapons like Libya did.


Although there are doubts swirling, North Korea appears to be moving forward with destroying a nuclear test site. The White House also seems optimistic, ordering 250 special “trip coins” to commemorate the meeting.




Oregon Judge Orders Teenager to Pay $36 Million for Causing Wildfire


A judge in Oregon had ordered a teenager boy to pay over $36 million for causing a wildfire that destroyed areas in the Columbia River Gorge in September.


This fire was called the “Eagle Creek Fire.” It started after the boy, who was 15, and a group of his friends threw fireworks into a canyon.


The fire spread for over 48,000 acres and cost firefighters at least $18 million. It caused chaos in the area and destroyed four homes.


The boy is unidentified but has admitted to the burning and was sentenced to five years of probation and 1,920 hours of community service with the U.S. Forest Service.


The boy’s lawyer said this $36 million order was absurd. But the judge said it was proportionate to the offense and the financial damages.


The punishment only applied to the boy, not to his parents.


The judge said he knew the boy couldn’t pay the full amount and would allow a payment plan, and would consider allowing a full or partial stop if he completes his probation and doesn’t do any crimes.




Cougar Attacks Two Cyclists, Killing One


On Saturday, a cougar/mountain lion attacked two cyclists, killing one. This was in Washington, 30 miles east of Seattle.


The cyclists’ names are Isaac Sederbaum, who survived, and S.J. Brooks, who died.


Isaac said as they were riding, they saw that the cougar stalked them, then suddenly charged. He hit it in the head with the bike, causing it to run away.


The two tried to ride away, but the cougar came back, attacked Isaac, and bit his head. The other person, S.J. ran away, and the cougar let go and went after him.


Isaac got back on his bike, rode two miles to get cell phone reception, and called 911. He then went to a road and flagged down a car. A person in the car called 911 and helped to bring emergency responders to help him. He had serious lacerations on his face and head.


Deputies and wildlife rangers then went into the woods to try and find S.J. and the cougar.  


They found the cougar into the woods, on top of S.J., who was dragged from the path, deceased, and partially covered with debris. They shot the cougar and euthanized it, and will do a necropsy to be sure it’s the same one and to find clues on why it attacked.


Very sad, and terrible incident. It is extremely rare for a cougar to kill a person. The cougar was about 100 pounds, which is underweight. Scientists think it might have been starving and desperate for food.


They recommend you to stand your ground if you see a cougar approaching you — to not run away, as it will make you look like prey.




Book with Deaf Character: “Charlie & Frog: A Mystery”


There is a new children’s book, “Charlie & Frog: A Mystery,” that has a main Deaf character in it.


The author, Karen Kane, is an ASL interpreter, and it is her first book.


A press release says it is good for middle school students (ages 8-12). It was published by Disney - Hyperion Books last month.


The story is about two children, a hearing boy, Charlie, and a Deaf girl, Frog, who works together to solve a mystery about a missing, signing elderly woman. As the two go on their journey, Frog teaches Charlie ASL.


It is written in prose with handshape illustrations at each chapter head that was done by a Deaf person, Carlisle Robinson. There are also illustrations of ASL signs. I’ll give you an example.


(Image of an illustration of a boy signing “power.” An excerpt reads, “Desdemona signed the letter C with one hand, and placed her fingertips and thumb on her opposite arm. ‘Power.’”


The author Kane told me she worked with four Deaf readers and four Deaf interpreters to make sure she had the right approach with the Deaf aspect of the story and ASL.


She said Frog (the Deaf character) is a strong, assertive girl with a strong, loving family, while Charlie (the hearing character) is alone and looking for love and connections.


Kane worked with Carlisle via FaceTime to discuss the illustrations, which is unique because writers and illustrators usually don’t communicate with each other but through an editor (Disney).


But Kane wanted to describe her vision in ASL, and Disney supported this. She said this was a great example of Deaf Gain.


The book is available wherever books are sold and online at Target or Amazon.



Deaf Bing: Strange Captions.


Deaf Bing: Strange Captions. I’m going to show you three clips of TV CC acting strange.


[Clip of a TV with illustrations of a college campus. The captions say, “his fart is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania…”]


Phew. Next one.


[Clip of a basketball game. The captions say, “From the corner, God got it!”


The person, God, is good at basketball. See the next clip — the third one.


[Clip of a CNN program with images of Marlee Matlin on it. The captions say, “Think about it, how many deaf actors can you name that aren’t C.J. Jones that many of you just met? I got this, Molly Metland and Marley Metland.”


Oh come on, they can’t spell Marlee Matlin’s right?


That clip has C.J. Jones in it. It is from Sunday night — “United Shades of America” — a special CNN program. I enjoyed watching the discussion, but they spelled Marlee Matlin’s name wrong.  


So… that’s the three examples of Deaf Bing. Strange captions. We deaf people are used to it.




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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